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Best compact camera for a senior citizen friend with vision problems?
April 6, 2014 12:54 PM   Subscribe

What compact camera would you recommend for a senior citizen who uses reading glasses and just doesn't have the greatest eyesight overall? Any specific features to look for, especially in terms of the viewfinder?
posted by Seeking Direction to Technology (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Is compact the deciding factor? Generally, when I see seniors snapping photos I see them using iPad minis or iPads. I live in Pacific Beach/San Diego which is loaded with tourists. I saw the same thing at Yellowstone and Grand Teton this summer. I really noticed it when a busload of seniors all pulled out their Minis to snap photos of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. It seems that size is an acceptable trade-off for the big screen.

I'm not a big Apple user, but from my observation Apple tablets seem to be the camera of choice for seniors.
posted by 26.2 at 1:24 PM on April 6


There might be some options here.
And I saw a reference to a "camera LCD magnifier" and a "viewfinder magnifier" on a couple photo forums. Do compact cameras generally have viewfinders these days? Or are you asking about the LCD screen? And I'm assuming you are talking about a digital camera.
posted by Beti at 2:54 PM on April 6


We had a Panasonic Lumix that I really liked. Small enough to fit in a pocket, but great photo quality. I don't think it even had a traditional viewfinder, just a LCD screen that covered most of the camera's back.
posted by belladonna at 3:02 PM on April 6 [1 favorite]


I came in here to recommend the compact casio models where the entire rear surface area is a screen, and they have almost no controls to muck around with(they also take great photos, and are well reviewed and well made of mostly metal.) I could say the same about the panasonics belladonna mentioned(my boss particularly loves hers, which is impressive for it's price and size)

But yea, nothing is going to beat an ipad mini as far as ease of use and size of display. go on cowboom and buy the cheapest ipad mini you can find, or craigslist. The camera is on par with a lot of point and shoots, and the door is open to more advanced photo taking if they want to play around with something like VSCOcam, which my grandpa would have been all over. The large display and light weight can't be beat. It basically weighs as much as a lot of small cameras, but you get the giant bright display to work with for both photo taking and showing off of photos later... plus the ability to email the photos right from the device without having to play around with pulling out the tiny, easy to drop/lose memory card or connecting it directly to a computer and messing with the irritating process of that that. It also has no battery to remove and charge, which nearly all simple cameras require... and has battery life far exceeding that of any camera i've ever used.
posted by emptythought at 3:46 PM on April 6


I love our ipad mini, but I don't think it takes great photos. I get a lot more blur, grainy darks, and mis-focused shots than I ever did even with a cheap-ish point-and-shoot. And the size is just large enough that I have trouble holding it steady while I try to press the "button". :( It's possible that using a photo app or a lighter-weight case (so it's easier to hold) would take care of some of these issues.

That said, all of the other "pros" that emptythought listed are certainly valid. And if they're more interested in easily sharing photos than in making sure they're perfect, the mini might be a good option.
posted by belladonna at 4:22 PM on April 6


Thanks for the advice. I will let her know about the Panasonic and Casio models. She does actually have an iPad, but prefers a smaller camera with an optical zoom, since she likes being able to frame the pictures right then and there.
posted by Seeking Direction at 4:49 PM on April 6


This, the Sony QX10 or, better yet, the QX100 plus the SPA-TA1 tablet attachment adapter with an iPad mini might be the route I'd choose for my 85-year old father.

The QX units make very good photos.
posted by bz at 2:42 AM on April 7


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